RAMADAN is about breaking fast together, having family gatherings, visiting the mosque for Traweeh (a special prayer during Ramadan)—all the things Muslims cannot do now, says Aminah Mohammed, founder and creator of Imaan Trinidad. But in the midst of disrupted routines due to Covid-19, Mohammed’s online business is bringing some joy into the lives of its clientele. The Eid Gift Box which has soared in popularity since it was first introduced by Imaan Trinidad is a potpourri of elegance, quality and self care. Mohammed collaborated with Serpentine Dermatology and Cedros Bay to create the chic pamper box.
“People love self-care and quality. That’s where we keep our focus and it’s been working great for us so far. And with our delivery service working straight through the quarantine, people were so happy to simply pay online and have their lovely boxes delivered straight to their doorstep,” says the entrepreneur.
Fans of Imaan Trinidad are well-acquainted with its luxurious silk and chiffon hijabs and pamper boxes but Mohammed’s brand also focuses on real women and experiences. The Imaan Woman campaign which Mohammed started the same week the business was launched shares the challenges and triumphs of Muslim women from all walks of life.
Choosing the risky route
It took many twists and turns in her personal and professional life before Mohammed followed her creative instincts and founded Imaan Trinidad. Mohammed never imagined that she would one day have a business of her own and that it would be so heavily centred on Islam. Growing up, there was never really an avenue through which she could express her creativity. Afraid that indulging in her creative side would be seen as a sign of weakness (according to societal standards) she chose the ‘safest’ route and ended up in medical school. But by her second year, Mohammed stunned her parents when she made the decision to study event management in London for three years.
“That experience was what started opening me up to my true potential and clearing a path to what I should be doing,” says Mohammed.
After returning to Trinidad, Mohammed’s life went through a seismic shift that resulted in her finding peace and purpose in her religion—Islam—something she had struggled with before. Her journey of self-discovery would eventually lead her to the place she is today.
“I knew that I was good at fashion events, marketing and photography but now I wanted to ensure that whatever I was doing would be pleasing to God and make a difference to the Muslim community and women at large,” she says.
When the time felt right Mohammed created her own brand, Imaan Trinidad, that is exclusive to Muslim women in Trinidad. It has struck a cord with her target audience who are happy to have a place where they can get Eid gifts for their loved ones. Mohammed has had a surge in requests for her Eid gift box this month.
“For me it’s not just about the hijabs that are sold but about the experiences that women get when they receive our packages. It’s a whole mood as we would say. I put a lot of effort into every detail of the brand because the details really make a difference. My hope for the brand is for people to see Islam and the hijab for what it really is and to demystify the Muslim woman,” she says.
Encouraging an Islamic sisterhood
For Mohammed, it is particularly important to use her brand’s platform to create a community of like-minded women. The stories of the Imaan Woman campaign are intended to bring a sense of reality to the women who read them.
“It’s easy to romanticise life and build up a perfect picture when all we see are the highlights of people’s lives. These posts try to remind people that we’re all struggling together, that life is a struggle and it’s okay to struggle,” says Mohammed. “Additionally there is also a huge divide between hijab-wearing Muslims and non-hijab-wearing Muslims and Black Muslims and Indian Muslims in Trinidad. Imaan Trinidad is a space where judgment and racial divide is non-existent. These stories and the impact it has had is what I love most about this brand and I hope it only continues to unite us all.”
While this month of Ramadan has been unlike any other, Mohammed chooses to focus on the positive.
“What I have admired most during this time is the mindset of our community. We believe in Islam that we must always see the positive in a situation or better yet, look for the lesson that God is trying to teach us,” says Mohammed. “I have seen people really use this time to get closer to God, their families and their purpose. Families and organisations have been doing all they can to help the less fortunate and ensure people don’t go hungry. It’s beautiful and as much as we miss the things we are accustomed to in this month, we have found a different kind of happiness.”
Imaan Trinidad can be found on Facebook and Instagram @imaantrinidad.